Updated from Oct. 2
It's refreshing to report on a device that's not meant to be an
iPhone killer -- or an iPhone clone.
has announced its first touchscreen handset. It's called the 5800 XpressMusic phone and it is targeted at young users -- not business people.
It looks like a terrific device, but not for us.
has confirmed the device will go on sale in India, Indonesia, the United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Russia and Spain by year-end but will miss the Christmas shopping season in other markets, including the United States.
The 5800 is a small device with a large screen that measures 3.2 inches diagonally (640 by 360 pixels) with up to 16 million colors. It has 81MB of internal memory and comes with an 8GB micro-SD card as standard equipment. A
also is available. The 5800 runs on Nokia/Symbian's S60 fifth edition operating system.
As for connectivity, the handset is a GSM/EDGE/HSDPA 3G device along with 802.11b/g Wi-Fi and Bluetooth (with stereo audio) and USB 2.0 connectivity. That means
could sell it here in the U.S. It also has A-GPS and Nokia Maps for voice-guided navigation.
The 5800 has a pair of decent- sounding stereo speakers -- it
a music device -- and a 3.2 megapixel camera with a Carl Zeiss lens and a dual-LED flash. Battery life is reportedly as much as nine hours (GSM) or five hours (HSDPA), 35 hours for music playback or three hours of video. Standby time is up to 17 days.
The touchscreen differs from some other popular phones in that the users must touch specific places on the screen to activate features. In other words, the whole screen is not necessarily "live" to your touch at any given time. Because this is a music device, that could be a good thing. We'll make a final judgment on that when we get a 5800 to test.
We also can't wait to test the phone's on-screen keyboard. The 5800 has a few on-screen keyboard input options, including a mini-QWERTY board and a pull-out stylus for navigating. Don't forget: This phone will be sold and used in countries where a Western-style alphabet isn't the standard.
One of the phone's most intriguing optional features is connectivity to Nokia's new Music Store. The 5800 will not only access the service, but it will also be one of the first phones with the optional "Comes with Music" feature. This feature lets customers download all the music they like to the phone for a year. Anything they download that first year is theirs to keep -- whether or not they re-up. That's pretty cool.
So how is this phone different from the iPhone and its offshoots? It doesn't try to handle every smartphone function on the planet. It doesn't try to appeal to every cell-phone user. Instead, it is designed primarily for younger users, to whom phone calls, messaging, photos and music and video playback are paramount functions for a touchscreen smartphone.
The Nokia 5800 XpressMusic will be available worldwide in the next few weeks. It will carry an estimated retail price of 279 EUR (approx. $390 U.S.) before taxes and subsidies. The phone will be available through Nokia in the United States. Prices and possible U.S. carriers such as
have not been announced.
The Nokia 5800 XpressMusic featuring "Comes with Music" will be available early next year.
The Nokia 5800 XpressMusic will carry an estimated retail price of 279 euros (approx. $390 U.S.) before taxes and subsidies. Prices and possible U.S. carriers have yet to be announced.
Gary Krakow is TheStreet.com's senior technology correspondent.